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Messages being shared via social media claimed that much loved Canadian – American actor Michael J Fox has died at the age of 57.
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Michael J Fox has not died. There are no credible news or media reports that support the claim that the star has died. And, the Michael J Fox Foundation has made no announcement about the supposed death.
The fake death message comes from a fraudulent website that masquerades as a Yahoo News outlet. The site uses the Yahoo News logo and includes “yahoonews” as part of its URL. However, the site is just a trashy clickbait scam website that has no connection to Yahoo News.
An earlier version of the story on the bogus Yahoo News site claimed that Michael died after suffering “complications caused by pneumonia”. According to the report, he was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre where his death was supposedly confirmed by doctors.
An updated version of the fake story replaces the details with a graphic proclaiming that “You’ve been rick rolled”. The contemptible people who published the fake story apparently believe that falsely claiming that somebody has died is somehow funny.
Unfortunately, fake celebrity death posts commonly circulate via social media. Some are just hoaxes or poor-taste pranks. Other, more heinous versions like this one are designed to drive people to scam or malware websites.
It is thus wise to verify any posts that claim that a celebrity has died before clicking or sharing.
Searching on a news aggregator such as Google News should quickly reveal if claims about the death of a celebrity are true.